social climber


: one who attempts to gain a higher social position or acceptance in fashionable society
social climbing noun

Examples of social climber in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 2018 show is based on the 1848 novel of the same name and follows Becky Sharp (Cooke), a clever social climber with a knack for charming men. Jacqueline Weiss, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 Although Perón, who died in 1952 at age 33, is typically depicted onstage as a social climber who sleeps her way to the top of Juan Perón’s regime, Cannold has posed a more feminist interpretation. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2023 No, this social climber climbed right off the battlefield, hosed off, changed into civvies, and rolled onto Rodeo Drive. Frank Markus, Car and Driver, 9 Sep. 2023 In New York, the Democratic mayoral primary winner, Eric Adams, the one candidate who spoke to every New Yorker’s desire for effective policing, was almost undone under ranked choice by multiple flavors of progressive social climber outbidding each other in wokeness. WSJ, 16 July 2021 This double bill of Stanley Kubrick classics pairs the director’s brutal 1957 antiwar drama starring the late, great Kirk Douglas with Kubrick’s visually ravishing 1974 period drama starring Ryan O’Neal as 19th century novelist William Makepeace Thackeray’s roguish social climber. Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2021 As for his latest role as manipulative and entitled social climber Adam Pratt in season 4 of You. Brianne Tracy, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2023 Beginning with changing the name to the ‘Quin House, the Edgerleys are looking to create a new kind of social club where a coterie of civic leaders, heads of business, artists, presidents of nonprofits, and an inevitable social climber or two can gather., 11 July 2021 Julian Fellowes—or the Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, as he’s known in his native Britain—has said that The Custom of the Country, Wharton’s strikingly modern 1913 novel about a ruthless social climber, inspired him to start writing. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 27 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'social climber.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of social climber was in 1894

Dictionary Entries Near social climber

Cite this Entry

“Social climber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

social climber

: one who attempts to gain a higher social position or be accepted in fashionable society

More from Merriam-Webster on social climber

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